Published April 14 2013
Follow our Uncle Sam’s tips to enjoy Tax Day
Hopefully you submitted your 1040 and other forms well in advance, but if not, don’t worry. You have until the end of the day today to make sure you get everything sign, sealed and delivered.
Between that rush to the post office, the headache of the paperwork and the worry over what you owe, this day can get a bit taxing.
Follow these tips and suggestions to get to April 16 with your sanity intact.
If you’re still in the process of finishing your taxes, maybe all you need is a little musical inspiration to help get you to the finish line. Here are our suggestions for a tax- and money-related playlist:
• “Taxman,” The Beatles
• “Money,” Pink Floyd
• “Take the Money and Run,” Steve Miller Band
• “If I had $1,000,000,” the Barenaked Ladies
• “Taxman, Mr. Thief,” Cheap Trick
• “After Taxes,” Johnny Cash
• “Material Girl,” Madonna
• “Tax Free,” Jimi Hendrix
• “1040 Blues,” Robert Cray
• “Mo Money Mo Problems,” Notorious B.I.G.
Once you finish your taxes for another year, you deserve a break. If you’ve still got money and the U.S. government on your mind, here are a few flicks to check out:
“Robin Hood.” There have been plenty of film variations on this classic tale, including the 2010 version with Russell Crowe, 1991’s “Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves,” 1993’s spoof “Robin Hood: Men in Tights.”
The plot is more or less the same in each, and all are very much appropriate for viewing on Tax Day – a heroic thief robbing the rich and giving to the poor.
“Stranger Than Fiction.” This Will Ferrell film is one of very few movies that have an IRS agent as its main character – probably because that particular job doesn’t translate well to the world of Hollywood.
Ferrell stars as a boring, monotonous auditor who suddenly discovers there’s a voice narrating his life.
“The Untouchables.” This 1987 movie is a thrilling depiction of the federal government’s pursuit of Al Capone, the Chicago gangster who ultimately went to prison for tax evasion.
Kevin Costner stars as treasury agent Elliot Ness, and Robert De Niro plays Capone.
“Mad Money.” It might not be as well-known as the other films on this list, but “Mad Money” is just as appropriate for Tax Day. The movie stars Diane Keaton, Katie Holmes and Queen Latifah as three Federal Reserve employees who plot to steal money that’s about to be destroyed.
Tax Day Freebies
Tax Day doesn’t have to only be about you paying your dues. There are a few businesses out there that make it a point to give you some benefits today as well.
• For starters, Arby’s, with multiple locations around the Fargo-Moorhead area, has a coupon available on its website for free value-sized curly fries or a small potato cake today.
• Schlotzky’s, 4861 13th Ave. S. in Fargo, is offering its Original sandwich for free with a small purchase of a 32-ounce fountain drink and chips. No coupon required.
• The Eighth Street Dairy Queen in Moorhead is also giving away a free small chocolate sundae from 8:30 to 10:30 p.m.
• Though less exciting than free fries or ice cream, Office Depot, 4517 13th Ave. S., Fargo, is offering a free black and white copy of your 2012 tax return, as well as free document shredding up to 5 pounds. A coupon is required and is available on Office Depot’s website.
Don’t be like these tax cheats
When it comes to people who aren’t good at paying their taxes, celebrities usually take the cake.
As you’re finishing up your taxes this year, here are just a few examples of what not to do.
Lindsay Lohan: The troubled actress owed more than $233,000 in unpaid taxes from 2009 and 2010. Luckily, she has a rich and charitable friend. Actor Charlie Sheen wrote her a check for $100,000 to cover part of the bill.
Wesley Snipes: The “Blade” actor was recently released from a three-year stint in prison – just in time for Tax Day. Snipes was sent to jail after failing to file tax returns from 1999 to 2004. The Internal Revenue Service claimed he owed $2.7 million in taxes from earnings made during that period.
Nicolas Cage: Even if your ex-manager and accountant is a poor handler of your finances, as Nicolas Cage claimed in 2009, you still have to pay the government. In Cage’s case, he owed about $6 million in back taxes.
Willie Nelson: In 1990, the country singer was forced to pay more than $16 million in back taxes and fines after the government seized his assets.
Gerard Depardieu: If you don’t like to pay taxes, you can always be like French actor Gerard Depardieu and simply move away. Depardieu recently made headlines after renouncing his French citizenship and moving to Belgium because of new French tax hikes.
Sources: Associated Press, TMZ
Readers can reach Forum reporter Sam Benshoof at (701) 241-5535